The benefits of choosing a smaller agency instead of a large one

why bigger is not always better

When companies need help with a project or campaign and are looking for an injection of creativity, their first port of call is usually a creative agency.

Putting aside having to choose from the large, ever-growing number of agencies that offer roughly the same services and all claim to be the perfect solution to your needs, then comes the decision of whether to seek out a small or large agency partner to complete the job.

For companies who can afford to foot the sometimes eye-watering bill, their first instinct would naturally be to secure the services of a medium or large agency partner. But in the creative agency world, does bigger really mean better?

While larger agencies can provide their clients with a sense of security and comfort through their wide structure, services and perceived status, many leading brands choose to trust smaller agencies with their major projects – and don’t get let down.

Companies of all sizes, not-for-profits and even government entities often turn to smaller agencies when their own in-house team is lacking the expertise or creativity to complete the job, when they have smaller ad-hoc projects or when the results of a larger agency they’ve worked with in the past have underwhelmed them.

And of course, smaller agencies are still the obvious choice for businesses with a smaller budget who are looking to achieve more for less. We know all this because we are a smaller creative agency ourselves.

Currently in our 26th year of business, Orion Creative is comprised of a team of ten professional, creative-minded graphic designers, web developers, copywriters, videographers and digital marketers. Many of our employees have been with the business for over ten years, and in terms of creative projects, we truly have seen and done it all.

In this article, we’ll explain the four key benefits that a smaller creative agency – Orion Creative included – can provide that larger ones can’t, which are sure to keep clients satisfied and coming back for more.

The quality to match it with the best

Having a smaller number of staff means small agencies need to carefully consider each employee to ensure they have the skillsets, flexibility and creativity needed to meet the expectations of their clients.

While many larger agencies have award-winning creatives at their disposal, what many businesses fail to realise, however, is that working with a larger agency is no guarantee that these big fish will be working on their project.

In all probability, unless you’re rolling in cash and are likely to bring in future work, it’s highly likely that your project will be assigned to junior-level staff instead.

For smaller agencies like ours, we naturally have less staff than the larger ones. However, while larger agencies often hire junior creatives without a great deal of industry experience, we only hire creatives who’ve spent years perfecting their craft, meaning clients are guaranteed to have experienced designers, developers and copywriters on each and every project.

Even though we’ve been around for close to 30 years, we know our reputation gets built one task, one project and one client at a time. This means we truly value and nurture the relationships we have with our clients and that we ensure any work is closely monitored for quality assurance before it goes out the door.

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Top-notch creativity minus the hierarchy

As larger agencies are structured with layers of account managers, strategists, executives, creatives and directors, it’s likely that dozens of people will be involved in your project throughout its lifetime.

This means that you’ll initially be in contact with an account manager, who’ll pass information over to a project manager, who’ll pass it over to a creative director, who’ll then once again pass it over to the creatives actually assigned to produce the work you’ve requested.

These complicated processes bring a risk of your message being diluted, lost in translation or completely misconstrued as it is passed down the line.

We’d be lying if we said large agencies haven’t produced genius campaigns and projects, however it’s important to acknowledge that they also produce bad ones that cost clients a large sum of money. But that’s a risk that working with a large agency entails – big agencies need to pay for their big structures and are more likely to pitch big ideas that can cover their costs.

At Orion Creative, one of our two leading creatives are assigned to each and every project we receive, and our clients often liaise directly with not only them but also the various other graphic designers, web developers and copywriters working on the job.

Working closely with the client and taking a more personal, tailored approach to the relationship and project ensures that their opinions are heard, the message doesn’t get lost in translation and, most importantly, that the client walks away happy with a high-quality end result.

The flexibility to make meaningful change

Flexibility is one of the key differentiators when it comes to the outcome of a project completed by a smaller agency compared to a large one. While large agencies have a more in-depth structure as we described in the last point, when change needs to happen, it can often be slow and costly for the client.

With smaller agencies, it’s usually the opposite; small agencies are typically lighter on structure, employees and expenses, making them less costly and faster to react when change is needed.

Here at Orion, we do our absolute best to adapt to our clients’ working styles, pace and budgets to offer solutions that not only achieve the greatest results, but that also make working with us as frictionless as possible. We understand that the projects clients come to us with are stressful enough and the last thing they need is an agency causing them more headaches.

We work hand-in-hand with our clients to strategise and execute their vision, and should their budget, scope or ideas change during the project, our team is agile enough to make quick decisions to alter what needs to be done.

Our experienced team doesn’t rest until our clients are 100% satisfied with the end result.

more bang for your hard-earned buck

Value is not measured by the size of the agency that produces the results, but by the quality of their work and whether that agency can help a client bring in more revenue.

Large agencies have gotten to where they are today because they have built a reputation of consistency over a long period of time – often globally – thus they are able to charge top dollar for their services.

However, this doesn’t mean that a small agency that hasn’t been around as long can’t match the creativity and excellency of the leading ones. In fact, if you find the right one, a smaller agency can often produce extremely high-quality work for a lot less money.

Many of our clients at Orion have been with us for a decade or more, choosing us time and time again because of one simply reason: we’re good at what we do.

And just as there are agencies of all sizes, there are also companies of all sizes with differing budgets, and small agencies will often be more willing and flexible to meet the specific needs of their clients compared to larger ones.

We have a wide range of clients here at Orion Creative. For bigger clients with larger projects, some are happy to pay an hourly rate until the work is completed. Other clients with smaller budgets prefer the safety of a fixed-scope project that includes a not-to-exceed amount, while some want as many bells and whistles as possible at an affordable price.

While we work with our clients to come to a price solution that’s best for them, this sort of custom pricing may be harder to come by at a large agency.

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Need a hand with your new project?

Orion Creative’s graphic designersweb developerscopywriters and digital marketers are experts at designing, building and launching digital projects and creating strategic or tactical campaigns that make a difference. Contact us and we can chat about how we can promote your products and services, boost your brand and grow your business.